SP 2010: Introduction to programmatically working with Taxonomies in SharePoint Server 2010

Author: Tobias Zimmergren
http://www.zimmergren.net | http://www.tozit.com | @zimmergren

Introduction

One of the coolest new set of functionality for SharePoint 2010 is the Taxonomies (Term Store, Term Sets, Terms) that you can easily create using the amazing Managed Metadata Manager service application.

In this article I’ll talk briefly about how you can utilize the SharePoint API to programmatically work with Taxonomies and create terms and fetch the terms in your term store. This should give you some nice ideas on how to get going!

A simple example of a taxonomy

Let’s say we’ve got a taxonomy worked out and implemented in SharePoint. It could look something like this (I’m using some made up samples below):

image

So, if you’ve got a taxonomy configured in your Managed Metadata Service Application, you can work with those programmatically – and that’s what this little tip is about.

Work with the taxonomy API’s programmatically in SP 2010

In this article I will talk about some of the basics to get started with taxonomies in SharePoint 2010 programmatically. First, of course, we need to create a new project and add the references for the Taxonomy API.

Preparing for development

First of all, create a new project (In my case, I chose to create a Visual Web Part project).

You’ll need to add the following reference to your project:

image 

You’ll find this reference here:
C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedWeb Server Extensions14ISAPIMicrosoft.SharePoint.Taxonomy.dll

Namespaces

So, the first thing we would like to do is to learn how we can read the taxonomies we’ve got in our store. To do this, we utilize Microsoft.SharePoint.Taxonomy.

There’s a few good-to-know classes in this namespace that we’re going to work with:

The above classes are stated in their hierarchically correct order, meaning means that you start out with the TaxonomySession which contains the TermStore, which contains the Groups.. and so on.

Reading the Metadata store (Managed Metadata Service) programmatically

Sample code from my Visual Web Part’s user control (I have a control called tvMetadataTree in the user control):

     public  partial  class  TaxonomyWebPartUserControl  : UserControl 
     {
         protected  void  Page_Load(object  sender, EventArgs  e)
         {
             SPSite  thisSite = SPContext .Current.Site;
             TaxonomySession  session = new  TaxonomySession (thisSite);

             TreeNode  treeNode = new  TreeNode ();
             treeNode.Text = "Metadata Awesomeness" ;
             tvMetadataTree.Nodes.Add(treeNode);

             foreach (TermStore  termStore in  session.TermStores)
             {
                 var  tsNode = new  TreeNode (termStore.Name, null , null , "" , null );
                 treeNode.ChildNodes.Add(tsNode);
                 //treeNode = tsNode; 

                 foreach (Group  group in  termStore.Groups)
                 {
                     var  node = new  TreeNode (group.Name, null , null , "" , null );
                     treeNode.ChildNodes.Add(node);
                     //treeNode = node; 
                     
                     foreach (TermSet  termSet in  group.TermSets)
                     {
                         node = new  TreeNode (termSet.Name, null , null , "" , null );
                         treeNode.ChildNodes.Add(node);
                         treeNode = node;

                         foreach (Term  term in  termSet.Terms)
                         {
                             AddTermSet(term, treeNode);
                         }
                     }
                 }
             }
         }

         void  AddTermSet(Term  term, TreeNode  treeNode)
         {
             var  node = new  TreeNode (term.Name, null , null , "" , null );
             treeNode.ChildNodes.Add(node);
             treeNode = node;

             foreach  (Term  t in  term.Terms)
             {
                 AddTermSet(t, treeNode);
             }
         }
     }

The end result will be a simple TreeView control filled with the Metadata structure from the store, looking something like this:

image

That’s about what you would need to get started with this!

Summary

Alright, so I wrote this small article up due to some students asked me for some taxonomy sample code a while back. I hope everyone enjoys this tip on how to programmatically work with the Taxonomies in SharePoint Server 2010!

As always, enjoy!

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Tobias Zimmergren

Founder / Consultant / Advisor at TOZIT AB
Tobias Zimmergren delivers high-quality articles about business and technology around the Microsoft scene.

Tobias focuses on advisory and consultancy for the Office 365 and SharePoint offerings from Microsoft.
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  • Sunny Singh

    Great article, it helped me a lot. But I have a problem now I want to fetch all urls on which that term is used (say if it is used in a list I need that list’s url, same for document and all). For social tags SP has given several methods in socialtagmanagerand socialdataservice class, but none to fetch url of terms used in a custom metadata column. Please help

  • Rahul Gupta

    Simple to understand and better to utilize the functionality and code. Thanks

    • http://www.zimmergren.net/ Tobias Zimmergren

      Thank you Rahul, enjoy.
      Cheers,
      Tob.

  • shrikant

    I have Taxonomy field on application page. I have to attached only “Sample Subterm 1″ terms to that field so that user can add only those term. Is it possible? If yes, How?

    • shrikant

      user can attach “acs1/2/3″ fields. so is there any solution